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Danish says, past feats, including free media would not forfeit in peace talks

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: The National Unity Government assured of not forfeiting the past achievements, including the free media in peace talks with the Taliban group—a clear message to the Taliban as the US special envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad just resumed peace talks with Taliban to find a negotiation settlement to the conflict.

Second Vice President, Sarwar Danish said this in an event announcing government’s information system plan, where he strongly backed the past hard gained achievements, with totally rejecting any sorts of compromise in regards with the Taliban group.

Freedom of speech is a sign for all rights, including human rights and democracy, he said, putting freedom of expression is a red line in peace talks.

Pointing toward ongoing peace negotiation, he said past achievements particularly freedom of speech would not be sacrificed for peace process as itself triggers us to another challenges.

He said currently 98 TV channels, 65 radio stations and 911 printed media have been active in capital, and 107 TV channels, 284 radio stations and 416 printing media outlets active in provinces.

“Totally 1,879 TV Channels, Radio Stations and Printing Media outlets are active throughout the country, which is a sign of good circumstance of freedom of speech in Afghanistan.”

He also added that plan of providing information will boost up coordination and cooperation between governmental organs and media outlets across the country.

Despite positive efforts, still there is challenges ahead of media outlets and journalists, he said, citing existence of insecurity and lack of budgets has key problem that forced some media outlets to end their activities across. He said 1,000 cases of violence against journalists have so far been assessed.

Meanwhile, President Ghani’s Spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said the plan and guidebook of providing information would definitely help positively the media outlets in accessing to information. He said the plane has made for five years.

This plan for easy access to information is engineered when the media outlets stilling facing different challenges in accessing to information particularly during security incidents.

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